Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

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Public Safety

Patrick Sullivan - August 22nd, 2011

City officials want to find out how a teenager swimming in the Clinch Park
Marina suffered an electric shock and drowned.
Michael Scott Knudsen, 18, of Mancelona, died at around 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
An autopsy showed the cause of death to be electric shock/drowning,
according to a City of Traverse City news release.
A preliminary investigation by the city determined that a short in a
220-volt electrical line, which carries power to a section of floating
dock, caused an electrical current to enter the water, according to the
city’s press release.
Witnesses said Knudsen had been swimming with a friend when he went
underwater and did not surface, TC Police Capt. Steve Morgan said.
The friend was able to make it back to the dock and reported that he
suffered an electric shock in the water, Morgan said.
Swimming is prohibited in the marina.

A 19-year-old TC man is accused of exchanging naked photos with an
underage teenager and then using the photos to attempt to force the girl
to sneak out of her house to meet him.
Zachary David Ellis faces charges of accosting a child for immoral
purposes, possession of child pornography, and use of a computer to commit
a crime, all four-year felonies. The charges follow a Grand Traverse
Sheriff’s Department investigation in East Bay Township.
Ellis was arraigned in 86th District Court on Aug. 16 where he was held on
$100,000 bond, ordered to not have contact with anyone under the age of
18, and not to use computers or smart phones if released.
Ellis allegedly struck up a relationship with a 14-year-old girl over
Facebook and text messages in late 2010 and in June told her he would
share naked photos she sent him unless she snuck out of her house to meet
him, according to the charges.

A 60-year-old woman who had just filled her car up with gas was surprised
by a man who forced himself into her vehicle and ordered her to give him a
lift at knifepoint.
The Cadillac Police Department arrested a 32-year-old Charlevoix man on
charges of car-jacking Aug. 18 for the incident that happened four days
earlier at a Speedway gas station on N. Mitchell Street
Police tracked the man down through witness accounts and evidence
collected from the scene.
The woman was able to get out of her vehicle and the man drove away. About
a half hour later, police found the car in a driveway of an abandoned
house on the city’s northeast side.

Surveillance of an area around 14th Street in TC led to police arresting a
man thought to be responsible for a rash of recent break-ins.
The arrest occurred on Aug. 18 at around 12:35 a.m.; the previous two
nights, break-ins had occurred in the area.
Police had video of a suspect from one break-in that gave them an idea of
what to look for and they suspected overnight surveillance of the area
might pay off, TC Police Capt. Brian Heffner said.
Heffner said the man, a 20-year-old TC resident, and another suspect who
was interviewed, a 21-year-old TC resident, admitted to four of six
break-ins which occurred in town in the past week, including at the 14th
Street Subway restaurant, at nearby Church of the Nazarene and Trinity
Lutheran Church, and at the River Concession in Clinch Park.
Heffner said the suspects may also be responsible for recent break-ins at
Leone’s Frosty Treat on 14th Street and the State Street Barber Shop. In
all of the break-ins, thieves gained entry by kicking in or throwing
something through windows.

A man who threatened to shoot fellow campers led police on a chase through
a campground and was arrested after a scuffle.
Crawford County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the North Higgins Lake
State Park in Beaver Creek Township on Aug. 14 to investigate reports of
disorderly conduct, Sheriff Kirk Wakefield said. A man allegedly
threatened to retrieve a gun from his vehicle and start shooting,
Wakefield said in a press release.
Police found the man driving his vehicle in the campground and attempted
to pull him over but he sped away. When police finally stopped the vehicle
the man had to be physically removed and tasered by state police troopers,
Wakefield said.
A trooper suffered minor injuries in the arrest. It was determined the
suspect was intoxicated.

A 30-year-old Onekama man was killed as he repaired a semitrailer tire at
Ron Brown and Son’s Inc. asphalt paving in Bear Lake.
Kurt Milarch was killed in the incident, which happened on Aug. 15 and
which is under investigation by the Michigan State Police. Police said no
foul play was suspected.

Two men are not talking after police found them beaten and bloodied
outside of a tavern.
Police were called to the Shamrock Bar on Main Street on Beaver Island at
around 3 a.m. on Aug. 14 to break up a fight between several people,
according to a Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Police found Austin J. Bowersock, 19, lying on the sidewalk bleeding from
the nose, and Jody Robert Putnam, 43, also injured from an assault.
Both were taken to the Beaver Island Health Center to be treated for
injuries that included a broken nose, cuts to the head and possible broken
Police said both victims were extremely intoxicated and refused to give
statements to the police. Witnesses were also reluctant to speak, police

A man with a shotgun who walked in on a party that had already been busted
by the cops wound up in jail after a manhunt.
Grand Traverse Sheriff’s deputies
were called
to a party on Merritt Street in Fife Lake after someone complained about
noise. Police were investigating an assault that occurred earlier at the
party when the gun-toting party guest arrived, Lt. Christopher Clark said.
When deputies ordered the man to drop the weapon, at 3:44 a.m. on Aug. 18,
the 19-year-old Kalkaska man fled, Clark said. The suspect was later
arrested in Kalkaska County with the assistance of the sheriff’s
department there on charges of felonious assault, possession of a firearm
while intoxicated and traffic violations.
No one was injured in the incident, Clark said.

The traffic stop of two men driving ORVs the wrong-way on a county road
unraveled a much larger crime involving six family members.
Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield said deputies stopped two suspects,
ages 19 and 22 from the Lovells area, and discovered the quads appeared to
have been hot-wired.
Police tracked down the residence of the owner of the ORVs in Otsego
County and discovered that his garage and house had recently been broken
The two suspects eventually admitted to the home invasion and they
implicated four other family members, Wakefield said in a statement.
Police executed search warrants at two Lovells-area residences and
discovered other allegedly stolen items, including another quad, a 64-inch
television, computers and other items worth around $20,000.

Residents of the southern part of Boyne City have been asked to be on
guard after a daylight sighting of a coyote in the city limits.
Boyne City Police Chief Randall C. Howard is warning residents not to let
pets out loose, especially cats.
Howard also said people should not feed the coyotes, either intentionally
or by leaving garbage out at night. Anyone who spots a coyote in Boyne
City is asked to call the police department at
(231) 582-6611.

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